When it comes to going dairy free, the things I would struggle with giving up most are a nice tall glass of milk, cheese, creamy sauce on pasta or steak (sorry!), or a nice cholesterol laden dollop of cream on my dessert, so I thought it was time that I tried to make some dairy alternatives to all of the above that also satisfies my need for gourmet…
So this week I am going to attempt some Cashew Cream then use it in some cooked (hot) and raw (cold) dishes to see how it fares with regards to taste, texture, creaminess and nutritional value. After all, if you want to lower cholesterol, eating a cupful of cashews every day may not be that much better for you – or will it?
Let’s find out…
Cashew Cream vs Dairy Cream – Nutritional Value
According to the Nutritional Facts when searching looking at Waitrose products (soooo middle class!) – based on the average serving size of 25g to 30ml I will assume like for like with volume. Also Cashew Cream is just Cashews and water so essentially the nutrition is all cashew.
|cashews||single cream||double cream|
|Energy||2392 kj||598 kj||777 kj||233 kj||445 kcal||0 kcal|
|Energy||577 kcal||144 kcal||188 kcal||56 kcal||1831 kj||0 kj|
|Protein||17.7 g||4.43 g||2.6 g||0.78 g||1.7 g||0.000 g|
|Carbohydrate||18.1 g||4.53 g||3.9 g||1.17 g||2.6 g||0.000 g|
|Sugars||4.6 g||1.15 g||3.9 g||1.17 g||2.6 g||0.000 g|
|Fat||48.2 g||12.05 g||18.0 g||5.40 g||47.5 g||0.000 g|
|Saturates||8.3 g||2.08 g||11.2 g||3.36 g||29.7 g||0.000 g|
|Sodium||0.015 g||0.004 g||0.049 g||0.015 g||0.037 g||0.000 g|
Cashews have an abundance of other vitamins and minerals – instead of using more data, I’ll just link to the first link I came across from the Worlds Healthiest Foods.
Cashews and Cholesterol
I’m not a doctor, but it is always a good idea to consult your doctor if you are changing your diet or using the internet to research diets and nutrition that you may take as gospel. However, there is an abundance of information online regarding Cashews and Cholesterol that I have decided to trust for the purposes of this post.
According to studies from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition where they tested cholesterol lowering drugs against cholesterol lowering foods. Many nuts provide those that eat them with unsaturated fats that potentially outweigh the bad stuff.
The Science Bit…
Simplified – Saturated fat makes the body produce LDL (bad cholesterol), Unsaturated fat makes the body produce HDL (good cholesterol) which means that Cashews are likely to create more of the good cholesterol that is good for our hearts, helps de-contaminate our blood and helps promote tissue health.
Good news for all you optimum nutrition fans. All I have to do now is test it for myself, and come up with some dishes to rival previous creamy dairy offerings.
First though (as with most raw food cooking) – you have to do things like soak the Cashew Nuts overnight so stay tuned for the next post tomorrow – Making Cashew Cream!